The climate system
ISAC CNR - Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Published online: 27 August 2015
An overview of what we know about the climate of the planet Earth up to 5.5 millions of years from now is presented first, with the air temperature in proximity to the surface as the main, and more feasible, parameter to be followed. The behavior of this parameter exhibits a distinct periodicity with more internal fluctuations. This overview prompts us to a description of the physical basis of the climate system, capable of explaining such fluctuations. The system is the star-planet, initially described as a lamp-billiard ball simple system. Astronomical causes affect the distance lamp-billiard ball (star-planet) and the ball (Earth) rotation axis orientation, while astronomical causes affect the intensity of radiation emitted from the lamp (Sun). The complication introduced by the atmosphere is then explained, essentially through the triatomic gas molecules, aerosol and clouds. Atmospheric composition affects incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared one. The compartments relevant for climate definition are examined: lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere including vegetation and humans. However due to space limitations the interactions between the different compartments are not treated here and we restrict ourselves to the treatment of the atmosphere.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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